Two of the three cancer screening programmes in the Western Isles have consistently met or exceeded the national target.  

Uptake of breast cancer and cervical cancer screening programmes - designed to detect and treat disease before symptoms develop – are as good if not better than the Scottish levels.

Although the newest programme, for bowel cancer, has not yet reached the target of 60 per cent, it is above the national average and showing a slow increase towards it.

In the non-cancer programmes, the uptake of screening in pregnancy and of new born children is very high.  These screenings look for infectious diseases, congenital conditions such as hypothyroidism and genetic disorders, as well as testing new born hearing. In the last year reported, no conditions were found to be long lasting in either mother or baby.

Diabetes is a condition that can cause blindness so routine screening for eye problems was introduced a decade ago. Our uptake of the invitation to be screened is good, with around 2.3 per cent of those screened showing signs of problems. Modern treatments and good control of the diabetes help to reduce the impact of these problems that can if untreated lead to blindness.

Whilst men’s uptake of bowel screening is lower than women’s, there is excellent attendance for the men’s aortic aneurysm screening programme with nearly 9 out of every 10 invited coming along for their ultrasound scan.

The Health Board members recognised that many people across the Western Isles put considerable effort in arranging and providing screening services and their follow up, and congratulated all involved in these diverse programmes on their achievements.